Easy spring recipe: Minty peas on toast from 'The Side Gardener' cookbook

A perfect appetizer for entertaining al fresco this spring and summer

Ah toast, the perfect vessel for a myriad of delicious ingredient combinations.

This supremely simple appetizer comes from Rosie Daykin's latest cookbook The Side Gardener: Recipes and Notes From My Garden. Here, the best-selling author shares fond stories of food, family and friends...and gardening, of course!

"This makes a fantastic appetizer for a group or a delicious lunch for you—just use a bigger slice of bread," says Rosie Daykin.

Minty peas on toast


1 nice chewy baguette

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon salt


Minty Peas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, finely diced

2 cups/280 g shelled fresh peas (frozen works too)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon lemon juice Zest of 1 lemon

⅓ cup/30 g finely grated pecorino cheese

½ teaspoon chili oil 1 teaspoon salt

Shaving of pecorino Sprinkle of lemon zest

Sprinkle of finely chopped fresh mint

Sprinkle of chili flakes Drizzle of olive oil


To make the toasts

Move the oven rack to the top third of the oven. Preheat the broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a bread knife to slice twelve pieces of the baguette, each about ½ inch/1.25 cm thick. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat both sides of each piece with olive oil and then lay them face up on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and then place them under the broiler to broil for a minute or so, just until lightly toasted and starting to brown. Turn the bread over and repeat on the other side (no need to add more salt). Once done, remove the bread slices from the oven and set aside to cool.


To make the minty peas

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and sauté the diced shallot until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook until they’ve just softened, another 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the peas and shallot to the bowl of a food processor. Add the parsley, mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, cheese, chili oil, and salt and blend until just combined but not smooth.


To serve

Spread each piece of toast with the pea mixture and top with a shaving of pecorino, a sprinkle of lemon zest, chopped mint, some chili flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil.